Mapleton woman suing TD Bank, claiming age, sex discrimination

Posted March 15, 2014, at 2:06 p.m.
Last modified March 16, 2014, at 6:27 p.m.

MAPLETON, Maine — A Mapleton woman is suing a Delaware corporation that has a branch in Caribou, claiming that she was discriminated against because of her age and a known disability, lost wages that should have been hers and ultimately fired and replaced by someone 40 years her junior.

Alberta Gough cites a number of other allegations in her complaint and demand for jury trial against T.D. Bank U.S. Holding Company. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Bangor on March 12. She is alleging age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, retaliation in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, sex discrimination, violation of the Maine Whistleblowers Protection Act, violation of the Maine Human Rights Act and violation of Maine’s Unpaid Wages Law.

According to court documents, Gough was first hired by TD Bank as an administrative assistant in 1999. She was promoted within the company, and by 2009 was assistant store manager in the Caribou branch office. Gough alleges that in June 2009, a male store manager was hired, and that he was aware that Gough had longstanding problems with mental illness and depression, which meet the definition of a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Maine Human Rights Act. She was being treated with medication.

Gough claims in the suit that she was suddenly subjected to constant criticism and harsh scrutiny while younger, non-disabled female employees suffered no such treatment. She alleges that the store manager made derogatory comments about her mental and emotional health, often getting angry with her for being emotional or stating that she acted “like a 2-year-old.” He further stated, she claims, that she appeared lost, wasted his time, and should have been fired a long time ago. He further demanded that she attend counseling for mental health issues.

Gough alleges that despite being one of the highest earning loan officers in her region, and winning an award for being second place in overall sales in the northeast division of TD Bank in 2011, she was placed on probation and the company refused to pay her the $300 cash prize bonus that she earned as a result of this award. She further alleges that she made a protected whistle-blower complaint to the store manager stating that he was treating her differently due to her age, and he “laughed at her” instead of taking her complaints seriously.

In an email exchange with human resources, the fact that Gough was 60 years old was specifically discussed and considered in the context of the decision to terminate her, which took place in January 2012, according to court documents. She was replaced with a woman in her 30s.

Gough’s attorney, Laura White, of Kennebunk, said Friday that her client has secured a right to sue letter from the Maine Human Rights Commission. She said that Gough has not been able to find a job that provides the same wages, working conditions, and/or hours that she received at TD Bank.

Gough is seeking monetary damages, including back pay, compensatory damages and attorney’s fees, at a level the court sees fit.

Shiloh Theberge, the Portland based attorney for TD Bank, said Friday that its their policy not to comment on pending cases.

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